Words of Walt Whitman on a Rainy Afternoon

I’ve been reading a collection of Walt Whitman’s poems recently. One of them made me smile, for it is the story of my 2012 experience so far:

Year that trembled and reel’d beneath me!

Your summer wind was warm enough–yet the air I breathed froze me;

A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken’d me;

Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself;

Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirge of the baffled?

And sullen hymns of defeat?

This one is challenging:

Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you,

and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?

Have you not learned the great lessons of those who rejected you,

and braced themselves against you? or who treated you

with contempt, or disputed the passage with you?

Have you had no practice to recieve opponents when they come?

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